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Now at Leawood: Melanie Nolker

Monday, August 26 to Saturday, December 21, 2019

Introduce yourself and describe your work and the media/genre you work in.

Hi, my name is Melanie Nolker and I am a full time oil painter here in the Kansas City area. I paint with the colors of Monet, and with a palette knife (a small trowel) instead of a brush. Using the knife forces my work to be freer and more textural than in the years when I painted with watercolor, and the oil paint used generously makes my art very colorful.

Talk about the works currently on display. What would you like people to know about them?

The works currently on display represent a cross section of my interest as an artist. My love of nature and travel shows itself in the depiction of trees. My desire to capture people has grown as my skills improved, thus I have included some portraits in this exhibit. And the large-scale paintings all represent change in our world in the past few years. You will find paintings that speak to forest fires in California, the hurricane in Puerto Rico, global warming that affects our cities and gun violence in our schools.

Who are other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?

Artist that I am most influenced by are Vincent Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt and Wayne Thiebaud. Their bright colors, graphic quality and playfulness appeal to me and make me feel at home in their presence.

Describe your creative process. How often are you painting and where is your studio?

My creative process is most often simple. It flows from me like eating or breathing. That is not to say that I don’t hit blocks and struggle through them. I paint with many artists who have become friends over the years and the days in shared studios are a joy in my life. I paint at Buena Vista Studios in Roeland Park, with Jean Cook at Sheryl Levene’s Studio and I have my own studio at The InterUrban ArtHouse in Downtown OP. I paint four days a week and because I paint so often, my biggest issue is finding fresh inspiration. I give palette knife workshops several times throughout the year and that keeps me grounded in the basics of how to paint simply and intuitively. 

What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.

One book that I really enjoyed several months ago was Lynn Whipple’s Expressive Flower Painting. It’s a paint-along book with steps and instruction that took me out of my comfort zone, and helped me feel loose and free as I played with new and old media and tools.


Throwback Thursday

This Throwback Thursday we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. We remind you the Library will be closed Monday, Nov. 11, to commemorate Veteran's Day.

November 11 is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I. Look no further than to find images like this black and white photograph of a World War I soldier sitting on the edge of a trench.

For even more history be sure to follow our hashtag on Twitter.


Today at the Library

Thursday, Nov. 7:

Gather at the Table 4:30 pm @ Central Resource Library

Sequel State of Mind Teen Author Panel 6:30 pm @ Monticello Library

Mind Full or Mindful 6:30 pm @ Corinth Library


Big Fall Kids Book Sale Nov. 7 - 9 @ Central Resource Library


Cedar Roe: Where'd They Go?

While Cedar Roe Library is having work done on its roof, Cedar Roe staff are helping out at various other locations.

Here's Sarah, who normally works as a Youth Information Specialist. You can find her temporarily helping out over at Shawnee Library, working the "Questions" desk!


MakerSpace Odyssey

This week on Did you hear, our hosts Melissa and Dave chat with Nick Ward-Bopp, one of our MakerSpace Facilitators, about the great resources we have in the Black and Veatch MakerSpace at Central Resource Library. But the MakerSpace isn’t just at Central - we host Maker programming at various other locations, too!


Want to know about your house?

What's your house history? Realtor/Librarian/Kansas City Historian Meredith Roberson, Local History Librarian Amanda Wahlmeier, and Curator of Interpretation at the Johnson County Museum, Andrew Gustafson, join Dave Carson to discuss how you can learn the history of the home you live in or the house you're thinking about buying. Spoiler alert! The Johnson County Library can help!


Sky Smeed

Lawrence singer-songwriter Sky Smeed has been honing his craft long enough to know how to make it feel effortless. A gifted storyteller in the folk tradition, Smeed’s blend of soulful Americana can swing from melancholy to comic to rollicking all with in the span of a handful of songs which leaves the impression that he could be the second coming of John Prine. Smeed’s excellent new full-length, Leaving Again, came out earlier this year, and we spoke to him about the album's recording, his songwriting process, and more. Enjoy! 



Spring Hill Library's READ Poster Winner

Each of our locations draws a name from the pool of kids who participated in Summer Reading to win a READ poster photoshoot. Here is Spring Hill Library's winners from 2018! You can enjoy the adorable-ness of current and past READ poster winners at each of our Libraries.

See Spring Hill Library's events »